26 March, 2020
COVID-19 is resulting in difficult times for apprentices, employers and providers of apprenticeship training, creating unprecedented and unique challenges to the usual quality and delivery of apprenticeships. The government is continuing to provide support and assistance, seeing the Education and Skills Funding Agency publishing apprenticeship guidance to ensure that where possible, apprentices complete their apprenticeships even if they are forced to take a break due to COVID-19.
Every effort should be made to ensure that apprentices continue with their apprenticeships and are assessed in the normal way in accordance with End-Point Assessment Plans and External Quality Assurance requirements. All tests must still only be carried out within a supervised and controlled environment, taking into account all security requirements.
If the End-Point Assessment process is not possible, providers are encouraged to consider whether it would be appropriate to extend the apprenticeship to allow time for the rescheduling of assessments. Gateway sign-off can be performed remotely with the agreement of the apprentice, employer and provider.
In the circumstances where an apprentice is post Gateway and there is a time limited stipulated for the End-Point Assessment Plan to be completed, this may be extended by up to 12 weeks.
The Department for Education have established a Coronavirus Helpline: 0800 046 8687.
For further information on the guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the Coronavirus, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response
For more information contact James Barron in our Employment & HR department via email or phone on 0161 918 0017. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.